Overstock’s blockchain arm tZERO aims to launch its broker dealer service in the United States by Q2 2020.

According to an April 30 Forbes article, tZERO Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Saum Noursalehi said he plans to expand the adoption of crypto, security tokens and mainstream trading with a one-stop-shop. However, the company must first be approved as a retail broker-dealer. 

The company’s retail broker arm tZERO Markets applied to be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the U.S. earlier this year. If it receives approval, tZero will expand trading by combining equity and traditional securities with crypto and digital assets.

Noursalehi plans to get this approval by the second quarter of 2020, intending to use tZERO’s crypto wallet application “to scale-up adoption for security token trading.” The CEO added in a statement that the current pandemic was partially responsible for the public’s greater reliance on blockchain and Overstock:

“Several of our blockchain companies have received public attention because the problems they are solving using blockchain technology have been brought into the spotlight in the current pandemic. Areas like mobile voting, digital identity, digital currency, and supply chain tracking have become more important in our COVID-19 world. I am looking forward to the increase in tZERO platform activity I believe will result from the upcoming issuance of the Overstock OSTK digital dividend.”

Bureaucratic approval in short supply

Following tZero’s initial coin offering (ICO) by Overstock in 2017, the company sought approval to launch a market for security tokens. CryptoNewspeople reported that tZERO’s Boston Security Token Exchange filed an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve the launch of a market for publicly traded registered security tokens in October 2019. 

In an April 1 letter, the SEC said they had yet to reach a decision on tZERO’s application.